Netherlands boss Danny Blind still believes Robin van Persie is Netherlands best striker despite dropping him from his squad which was announced on Monday.

  • By James Rowe

rvp oraDanny Blind spoke to NOS and Bert Maalderink at his press conference today about his squad selection for the upcoming friendlies against Wales and Germany.

Below is a transcript of the interview

BM: “The most important name that has not been called up is Robin van Persie. What is his current status?”

DB: “His status. I find that since his transfer to Fenerbahce in the summer that he has still not found his rhythm after 4 months there. He is still not playing the full 90 minutes. I believe that he has played one full game for Fenerbahce and that is of course not a good sign. A player of that caliber that does not play full games after a few months and is put on the bench and does not appear to play more than an hour. I have seen him play and he has not played well. I do not find him sharp. We are entering into a new period where perhaps certain players will not come into consideration should we manage to qualify for Russia and I want and must see other players in his position so I will call them up instead because I have to look to the future.”

BM: “So this is not temporary it is for good?”

DB: “Not this is definitely not for good even though that is what I read. I have not selected Robin van Persie for these two games. I spoke to him a few times during the last international fixtures about this and the fact that I think that he must do better in order to start for his club and I hope that he manages to do that because he is still in terms of potential the best striker we have. But you must be in a position to play 90 minutes.”

BM: “Yes I agree with you about that about being able to play for 90 minutes. But I thought we are entering a new period, the manager gives a press conference. He is creating a new squad and van Persie is not involved.”

DB: “No I feel that we still have the need for experienced players and that they can still bring what is needed in top football. I hope that van Persie will be fit in March and then I will probably call him up because as I have already stated he is in terms of potential the best striker we have.”

BM: “How did van Persie react to the news. Does he understand this?”

DB: “It was not really a conversation. He overheard me and respected the decision of the manager so it was not really a conversation the was premeditated. Of course he will be disappointed.”

BM: “How is your relationship with van Persie?”

DB: “It’s normal. I know him from when I started to work with him in 2012 when qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil and I have a normal understanding with Robin.”

BM: “There were reports that you sent him away after the argument with Memphis Depay. So your current mutual relationship plays no part in your decision?”

DB: “I also read that I sent him away that is not true. I do not know where you got that from and no it plays no role in my decision.”

BM: “Not so much in terms of behavior but do you find that Robin van Persie is still a top footballer. What I mean by that is when Wesley Sneijder went to Turkey he kind of fell of the radar and van Gaal brought him back, Is van Persie also at that kind of tipping point?”

DB: “I hope so Wesley Sneijder also had a bad start in Turkey and he struggled but he came through it and weather or not that was because of the national team manager at the time Louis van Gaal. But eventually it came down to the fact that he was playing 90 minutes every week and led his team and you can expect that from a player of his caliber and i hope Van Persie. I have spoke with him about this, that he must train more and harder to achieve the same. It is unbelievable that he has played one full 90 minute game since his transfer.”

James Rowe (696 Posts)